Private Bowe Bergdahl is the personification of America’s lack of purpose and clarity in its decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009 I was in Afghanistan and was involved in the search for Bergdahl from that first June morning he went missing.
Russia’s aggression in Crimea gave GOP talking heads yet another chance to blather on about how weak Barack Obama is and how America needs to bomb more countries in order to gain respect. Don’t listen to them.
The E-Currency Exchange LibertyReserve.com Got Shut Down for Laundering $6 Billion
Yesterday, the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan brought charges against the founder of LibertyReserve.com, an online e-currency trading company that an indictment handed down in Manhattan federal court claims was “the predominant digital form of money laundering used by cyber-criminals worldwide.” The site was shut down last week and replaced with the nifty image above. Since its founding in 2006, Liberty Reserve has allegedly moved, stored, and laundered over $6 billion from over one million users who range from your workaday hacker and identity thief to large syndicates involved in drugs, bank robbery, child pornography, gambling, human trafficking, and other delightfully illicit activities.
The prosecution of Liberty Reserve will be the largest international money laundering case in the history of forever and it further shows how the internet, with its new-fangled monetary creations and anonymity can serve as the locus of all sorts shady transactions.
But how did Liberty Reserve and its made-up currency (called LRs) become what prosecutors describe as “the financial hub of the cyber-crime world”? Well, by design.
GUNS: THE CAUSE OF, AND THE SOLUTION TO, ALL OF LIFE’S PROBLEMS
Yesterday, if you wanted to get into a nasty argument with people you’d never met, your best bet would have been to click on the #LiberalTips2AvoidRape hashtag on Twitter and spend the next halfhour “joking” about women in short dresses getting raped, or making reductive comments about how much conservatives “hate women.”
In this episode of Foreign Correspondents, Hong Kong State Radio reporter Ben Leung heads to the Conservative Political Action Conference convention in Denver to see what’s what. China has a one-party system, so he’s always been bewildered by the pageantry of our elections. Watch as he attempts to wrap his head around one of America’s silliest, and most important, traditions.
Barack Obama isn’t a Muslim. What some conservatives suppose is… maybe he is? Yup, calling Obama a Muslim is back in style, because why criticize the president over the economy or civil liberties when you can spread rumors that he likes a different imaginary guy than you do? This week, the right-leaningWashington Times published a five-part series by Islamophobe Daniel Parts about how Obama attended a Muslim school in Indonesia, might have thought of himself as a Muslim when he was a kid, and has a “H-S-N” name so BLARGHA BLARGHA BLARGH REPEAL OBAMA BIN HUSSEIN’S GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF OUR JOBS. (And did the Times plan the release of the story to coincide with September 11? Ew.) Then there was the time last month noted musician and taint Hank Williams was like, “Obama is a Muslim and hates farming!” (Farming?) So yeah, welcome political discourse in the 21st century, y’all. But even if he were a Muslim—which he’s not—would anyone care? We walked around New York to find out and ran into an Occupy protest.
VICE: Would you care if Obama were Muslim?
Marvin, retired: Why would they say he’s a Muslim? If he says he’s a Christian, how come they don’t believe him is the question.
So you wouldn’t care if he was?
I could care less.